Every year, as DLINQ’s Digital Detox nears, I reflect critically on digital detoxes. From the start of our Digital Detox initiative, we have emphasized looking beyond mindful approaches to technology to ask difficult questions about the complex entanglements of digital technologies in social life (e.g., surveillance, hard-coded biases, misinformation). But as I observe the upswell of interest in digital detoxes more broadly, I can’t help but worry. Do digital detoxes focus on the wrong things? Do they propose that the solutions to our serious digital attention and connection challenges are temporary disconnections from technology, instead of addressing how and why digital platforms operate in the ways they do?
Some interesting and useful things to think about not only with respect to detoxes, but second and third level considerations which aren’t always considered by people.